COVID-19 UPDATED – POLICIES AND GUIDELINES – for Gradual Reopening at ONWC

The following guidelines are in place to minimize the risk of SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) transmission to Patients/Clients, Naturopathic Doctors (NDs), Practitioners, Manual Therapists and Front Desk Staff.

To Reduce Exposure to All Practitioners and Staff

  • Commonly used surfaces (counters, doors, handles, bathrooms, supplement cabinets etc.) are cleaned throughout the day. The Credit card machine and other items that patients use will be cleaned after each patient/client visit.
  • All rooms have hand sanitizers and/or Cavicide/Accel Wipes or other appropriate cleaning agents for Practitioners to disinfect surfaces between visits (as they have been directed by their individual Colleges).
  • The Centre has the required Protective Personal Equipment (PPEs) (masks and gloves) for Centre use.
  • All patients/clients need to be screened when they are called to confirm their appointments. A COVID-19 Screening form and Consent will be sent with your booking (VIA SmartND portal – our charting system) and you will be required to fill it out 24 hours prior to your appointment.
  • We have put up signs in both bathrooms to remind people on proper hand-washing technique. There will be one stall available to patients/clients in our facilities – this will be sanitized after each use by your practitioner.

Scheduling Appointments

  • When calling to book an appointment, you will be asked the following screening questions:
Q1:Have you had close contact with anyone that has had an acute respiratory condition or travelled outside of Ontario in the last 14 days?
Q2:Do you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 or have you had close contact with a confirmed positive case of COVID-19?
Q3:Do you have any of the following symptoms:
FeverNew onset of coughWorsening chronic coughShortness of breathDifficulty breathingSore throatDifficulty swallowingDecrease or loss of sense of taste or smellChillsHeadachesUnexplained fatigue/malaise/muscle aches (myalgias)Nausea/Vomitting, diarrhea, abdomenal painPink eye (conjunctivitis)Runny nose/nasal congestion without their known cause
Q4:If you are 70 years of age or older, are you experiencing any of the following symptoms: delirium, unexplained or increased number of falls, acute functional decline, or worsening of chronic illness.
  • If the answer is “no”, you may schedule an appointment.
  • If the answer is “yes” to any of the questions then a telemedicine visit with an ND or Nutritionist is required to conduct a secondary screening. For osteopathy, massage, acupuncture, IV therapy or live blood analysis, this appointment will need to be rescheduled.
  • If it is deemed that COVID is likely, you will be advised to call Telehealth Ontario at 1- 866-797-0000
  • If you have had COVID-19, please provide proof of two negative tests (24 hours apart, minimum) if you are requesting (or require) an in-office consultation.
  • Patients/clients have the option of having a telemedicine call with their ND and Nutritionist. Please note, that there are specific situations when an ND or Nutritionist will need to see a patient in-person. For example, if any aspect of a physical exam is necessary (i.e., to address symptoms associated with abdominal discomfort, to take blood pressure, weigh-ins, measurements, body composition tests etc.) or to assess muscle and joint related concerns.
  • Patients/clients now have the option to pay by e-transfer. If you choose this option (rather than credit card/debit), please send the e-transfer to info@onwc.ca (with the protected question and password) prior to the appointment day. The centre will email patients their receipts (consultation, testing and/or products.). If the patient and practitioner go over time, the outstanding amount will be collected by e-transfer after and at that point the receipt will be emailed. Regular credit card/debit payments will be accepted and ideally TAP function utilized. If we have CC info on file this will help expedite the process and allow patients/clients limited exposure to other individuals in the centre.
  • Patients/Clients should attend their consultations alone; extra family members are not permitted to enter the office(s). If the consultation is for a child, only one parent can attend. It is best if other family members remain at home, especially on hot days. Children are not to be left alone in cars, unattended.
  • Elderly or vulnerable patients will be scheduled at a time that limits their potential exposure to other patients. Support persons will also be screened.
  • We will be increasing the time frame between patient visits to allow time to sanitize and aerate treatment rooms, to clean all equipment used between patients/clients and to limit patient/client exposure to other patrons entering the Centre.

To Reduce Exposure To Patients/Clients:

  • We have a sign posted outside the Centre listing the symptoms of COVID – 19 and advising patients to return home and call the clinic if they are experiencing any of the symptoms listed.
  • We have a sign outside the Centre informing delivery personnel to wait until the door is opened for them.
  • We have a Sanitary station upon entering the Centre – There will be a STOP SIGN indicating to wait to be screened. Patients/Clients will wait to be greeted here by front desk/practitioner and begin screening procedures.
  • We have reduced the number of chairs in the reception area to allow for social/physical distancing. Floors have been marked to measure 2m distance markers to allow for physical distancing if waiting for front desk or screening
  • We have set up an area in the IV Suite to assist in the management of patient flow and/or to allow patient visits with increased physical distancing.
  • We have reduced the number of chairs in the IV room and will spread out all IV patients.
  • Your ND will wear a disposable gown when doing IV treatments on patients that are high risk. Patients may be asked to wear a disposable gown as well.
  • Your Manual Therapists and Practitioners will be wearing scrubs that will be appropriately sanitized daily and will have extra clothes to be used throughout the day.
  • Patient/Client visits will be spread out to limit the number of people in the reception area at any one time.
  • All patients/clients are expected to wash their hands (with soap and water OR sanitize them at the sanitizing station) when they enter the Centre.
  • Please bring an appropriate face-mask. You will be required to wear this throughout the consultation. If you have forgotten a mask, you may purchase one for $2 from the front desk which can be added to your billing for that day.
  • Any gloves worn to the Centre shall be disposed in a garbage bin prior to sanitization. Wearing gloves around town will only spread more germs, so we asked that you dispose of these prior to coming into the Centre.
  • All practitioners will be using their appropriate PPE (gloves, masks, etc) if doing any procedure that involves examining the patient or if in close proximity to the patient as directed by each of their individual Colleges.
  • Patients are encouraged to pay over the phone for all pick-up orders. There is a mailbox outside the Centre to allow for curb-side pickup (if the package is large it will be placed on the ground once the patient is at the front door to retrieve the package) by front desk staff.
  • Life Labs are accepting faxed requisition forms. Therefore, you do not have to come to the Centre just to pick up your requisition, you can just go directly to the lab centre.

These guidelines will be evaluated and updated as needed based on updates from the College of Naturopaths Ontario.

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